Comprehensive Competencies and Core Commitment Can Drive Digital Acceleration Despite the Pandemic
We speak with one of the four Co-founders and the Chief Executive of Maveric Systems – Ranga Reddy. Since its inception in 2000, Maveric has been helping global banking and FinTech leaders accelerate transformation initiatives through effective integration of domain, technology, future-ready strategy and high-velocity execution. The company’s core promise of Accelerate Next helps its customers navigate a rapidly changing environment, through conscious contextualisation, comprehensive competencies and core commitment.
Maveric has been singularly focused on banking domain for over two decades, providing managed services and solutions across data, digital, core banking and quality engineering. The firm has over 1800 technology specialists and a global presence spanning across 15 countries with regional delivery capabilities in Bangalore, Chennai, Dubai, London, Mexico, Poland, Riyadh and Singapore.
Mr Reddy started his professional journey in management consulting and has worked with organisations such as World Bank, American Express, Reckitt and Coleman, Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young, Polaris Software, AT Kearney, NDDB and the Government of India in the areas of business strategy, people management, change management and transformational leadership.
How can Maveric help banks with open banking and digital transformation solutions?
Financial institutions have been challenged with decreasing revenues and increasing costs in a landscape marked by new-age banks and FinTechs. Maintaining leadership and retaining competitive advantage in this landscape calls for transformation at unprecedented speed across:
- Reengineering business models
- Adopting newer technology stacks and platforms
- Integrating with the financial technology ecosystem
However, every transformation journey, be it open banking or digital, is unique. What’s common is the need for speed and the enormous risk associated with getting it wrong. Successful transformation calls for a trusted partner with a deep understanding of the domain, right mix of technical competencies, edge building strategy and accelerated delivery. We achieve this through the following:
- Multiservice offerings based on an integrated outlook rather than a siloed service-oriented outlook and drawing from our capabilities across Digital, Data, Core Banking, and Quality Engineering. They have the ability to take any transformational and open banking challenge head-on.
- Unique delivery assurance and engagement model – customer intimacy model, focusing on
insights into customer challenges, pain points – thinking beyond what they need today to what they need in the future.
- Multi-level stakeholder engagement armed with actionable insights.
- Delivering exponential impact through continuous improvement initiatives and customer mandated step changes.
- Focused partnerships with leading technology platforms and advisory organisations for customer value add – we are a certified Temenos services partner, and have partnerships with Adobe, Talend, Matillion for digital, cloud and data transformation initiatives.
- Proven accelerators and frameworks across strategic areas like real-time data, analytics, performance benchmarking, DevOps, QE automation as well as core banking.
In what ways has the pandemic affected Maveric Systems over the last few months?
Globally, we are seeing multiple trends shaping the banking landscape.
Although banks had a digital strategy in place, making it a reality through the adoption of technologies and platforms was slow. The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the growth of digital banking – driving closures of branches, call centres and increasing customer engagement across digital channels. For those with digital solutions in place, it has been a test of digital infrastructure for increased workloads. Further, automation and the adoption of new tech stacks to enable contactless banking is on the upward path.
Both banks and regulators are now becoming more open to moving to the cloud. They are positive about the mobility, scalability, flexibility and capacity of the cloud while being a bit cautious about the security aspect.
The engagement time frames have shortened drastically, driven mainly by the need to go to market faster and with solutions. The timelines have shrunk threefold meaning that the transformation programs which were supposed to be completed in a year’s time are now being pushed to go live in a quarter. These further translate to accelerated MVP, continuous quality across the development cycle, adoption of CI/CD and DevOps technologies.
Banks are increasingly adopting data and analytics solutions for updating scenarios, forecasting trends and changing risk models in light of the pandemic. Data models are also being used to fine-tune the customer persona and sharpen individualised offerings instead of using demographic segmentation for banking products.
Offshoring has been gaining traction especially with banks from the Middle East who were not off-shore friendly earlier. Several banks in APAC are re-evaluating their site strategy and opening their projects for India based delivery rather than delivering it from APAC cities such as Singapore.
In line with these, we have been seeing our customers and prospects accelerate their investments in beefing up the technology infrastructure. Accordingly, there is a strong uptake for our services and solutions across digital, data, core banking and QE. Our accelerators and frameworks have been seeing increased acceptance among the customers on account of their ability to bring down costs, enhance efficiencies and achieve the speed that is much needed by banking organisations.
On the downside, the ticket size of these implementations has reduced. What was a multi-million, multi-year contract before the pandemic is now being broken into smaller contracts with faster turnaround and fastest possible go-lives.
Digital transformation now needs to focus more on experience engineering rather than solely delivering solutions for the customers.
Globally, the world is undergoing a digital transformation, and despite the pandemic’s impact on all of our lives, this digital acceleration should remain something financial services companies continue working towards. What’s your take on this and how can Maveric assist organisations in this regard?
I believe, digital acceleration will remain a priority for the financial services industry and it will only see tremendous growth in the days to come. With the exponential increase in consumers moving towards digital channels, in light of accessibility restrictions to legacy channels, creating and managing superior experiences across channels and touchpoints has become paramount. Digital transformation now needs to focus more on experience engineering rather than solely delivering solutions for the customers.
Further, I also feel that the hype cycle around digital is very active, even more in the current context. Banks, weary from digital discussions and failing initiatives, are often lulled into yet another misadventure, with yet another acclaimed vendor, seeking to push early-stage experiments onto the bank. At the core of a successful digital program should be an honest effort to transform every customer journey. The focus must shift from break-through technology solutions to break-through business solutions.
We conceive and apply digital for banks in the context of customers, their journeys, and the various experience points across these journeys. Our end-to-end digital expertise threads every user journey seamlessly from Core to Connectors to Customer Experiences. Our risk and impact frameworks comprehensively map changes in user journeys, and possible risks to the system, ensuring superior digital solution design. Further, our two-decades-long understanding of the banking domain helps us create and harden contextual solutions, leveraging the best in the ecosystem.
What are your goals for the future? Are there any exciting acquisitions on the horizon?
We achieved a revenue of INR 334 crores and we are on track to achieve a growth of nearly 16% this financial year. All of our efforts are on track to double the revenue in the next three years.
We have four business units – namely DataTech, Digital Transformation, Quality Engineering and Core Banking. While we had been offering these services early on since FY 19-20, these have been functioning as individual business units in a federated model. Our suite of offerings across digital, data, and core banking contributed to 28% of overall revenue last year and have a clear growth trajectory to contribute to nearly 46% of the total revenue this year.
We have invested in creating competency centres and labs across our business units. Our digital experience lab drives cloud enablement, rapid prototyping as well as simulation of customer sandbox environments, while the data technologies lab accelerates the creation of assets across big data and analytics areas. Further, accelerators and frameworks created through the QE competency centre drive tech-led QE services for 95% QE automation.
We are always on the lookout for a right kind of partner to augment our capabilities, however, we have nothing on the books right now.
What excites you about the future of banking technology solutions?
On one hand, the pandemic has opened up a new level of digital possibilities and on the other, it has accelerated the pace of adoption of these technologies. On an immediate basis, I see increased adoption of technologies driving customer experience, regulatory as well as cost efficiencies. Cloud-based technological solutions will gain traction, provided there is enough security protocol put in place and that the organisations ensure that their customer’s data is safe and safely processed across the value chain.
API based banking will see a significant rise in the future, driven by regulations like PSD2 and financial marketplace, driving the need to integrate with the larger financial technology ecosystem. There will be a lot more synergies between various players in the industry and the end consumer is to win in a big way.
The AI adoption that is already underway will witness further growth. The usual suspects of adoption have been in customer experience, virtual assistants or conversational areas, RPA, fraud detection and back-office areas. These have been more at an experimentation level and will see scaling for mainstream adoption.